An aide representing the Joe Biden campaign online attacked CBS News Chief Investigative Correspondent Catherine Herridge on Wednesday, after the journalist reported the list of officials—which included Biden—who purportedly sought to "unmask" Gen. Michael Flynn during the Obama administration.
The attempt to smear Herridge did not go over well.
What are the details?
Herridge—an Ivy League-educated journalist who joined CBS News in November after a long tenure at Fox News—tweeted, "SCOOP: @CBSNews obtains @RichardGrenell notification to congress declassified 'unmasking list' Flynn between late 2016 and January 2017 - Read 3 pages provided by NSA here."
The accompanying attachments showed that former Vice President Joe Biden was the last person named on the list "who may have received Lt. Gen. Flynn's identity in response to a request processed between 8 November 2016 and 31 January 2017 to unmask an identity that had been generically referred to in an NSA foreign intelligence report."
The date listed next to Mr. Biden's name was Jan. 12, 2017, just days before President Donald Trump was inaugurated.
In reaction, the Biden campaign's director of rapid response, Andrew Bates, replied, "SCOOP: Catherine Herridge is a partisan, rightwing hack who is a regular conduit for conservative media manipulation ploys because she agrees to publicize things before contacting the target to ask for comment."
Pundits, journalists, and politicos across the spectrum roundly lambasted Bates for his attack, defending Herridge and letting the Biden aide know that Herridge has one of the best reputations in the business for delivering solid, fair, unbiased reporting. Several called on the Biden campaign to apologize.
Attorney Mark Zaid, who represented the whistleblower that spurred the impeachment of President Donald Trump, replied, "I've worked with @CBS_Herridge for many years & this isn't true. It is also beneath the integrity of Biden campaign. You do not help your candidate by going maliciously low like Trump and his campaign. You should apologize and delete this tweet. Be better than this."
Jake Tapper, anchor for left-leaning network CNN, tweeted, "Gross. Personal attacks on journalists for sharing facts is obnoxious and indecent. @JoeBiden approves this message?" Tapper went on to add, "not only does the Trump campaign do this regularly, the White House and the president do it as a matter of policy."
Bates eventually deleted the tweet amid waves of backlash.
The Daily Caller's Henry Rodgers noted, "Looks like @AndrewBatesNC realized how awful his take was on REAL news and deleted this tweet. Good for you, bud! Still amazing you thought that was a good idea."